Video at thestate.com: Columbia utilities director Joey Jaco explains the work on the Columbia Canal
RICHLAND 1 MAKEUP DAYS
Richland 1 school district plans to make up all seven days its schools were closed because of last week’s flooding, according to release from the district on Thursday.
The district’s schools re-opened on Wednesday. Students will now report to school on Feb. 15, March 18 and May 30, three dates previously designated as makeup days in case of inclement weather.
Another day, Oct. 23, was scheduled to be a teacher workday, but students will now report to school for a regular day instead, the release said.
Richland 1 has not yet announced when the remaining three days will be made up. State law requires students to receive 180 days of instruction each year.
“We believe that every day of instructional time is critical,” Richland 1 Superintendent Craig Witherspoon said in the release. “... We will not seek to waive any of the days missed.”
There’s no word yet on other districts’ makeup days.
REPAIR ON LAST BIG WATER LINE
City water officials issued a boil water advisory for a portion of Kay Street in St. Andrews while a repair is made on a flood-damaged, 24-inch water line.
Residents and businesses on Kay Street between St. Andrews Road and Sandy Spring Court should vigorously boil any water used for drinking, food prep or making ice for at least 60 seconds before use.
Anyone near the advisory area who experiences a drop or loss of water pressure should follow the same advice to reduce the risk of using contaminated water.
Officials have been working for several days to repair that line, even as they announced Wednesday they were lifting the boil water notice for all other city customers.
PRISONS KEPT TO FOOD, WATER SCHEDULES
Prisons in Columbia boiled water in large industrial cooking pots throughout the flood advisory and kept water coolers in each dormitory, a Department of Corrections spokesperson said Thursday.
The department’s Food Services Division oversaw each prison’s efforts and made sure water was boiled to specifications, said Stephanie Givens, director of communications for SCDOC, told The State. When one dormitory had to keep refilling water coolers twice a day, the Food Services Division shipped extra coolers to reduce staff workload.
“It was a herculean effort,” Givens said of the work at the city’s six prisons. “When these types of things happen, we don’t stop working. So our staff goes into sort of overdrive ensuring that everything keeps running. Our inmates were fed on the regular schedule, we had food trucks going out every day, we made sure everyone had clean water.”
REPORTING SEWAGE OVERFLOWS
The city of Columbia’s Department of Utilities & Engineering has released a tip sheet for managing wastewater after the floods. The tip sheet can be found on www.ColumbiaSC.net/Wastewater.
The tips include:
▪ Contact Companion Property & Casualty at 1-800-827-5794 if you believe your property was damaged by a sewage back-up.
▪ City crews are working hard to identify and respond to any sanitary sewer overflows they can find. Anyone who sees damage to a manhole or signs of an should call 803-545-3300 and report it.
GOVERNOR EXTENDS STATE OF EMERGENCY
Gov. Nikki Haley signed an order Thursday extending the state of emergency in South Carolina for 15 days so the state’s National Guard can continue helping with cleanup efforts.
Haley said the South Carolina National Guard is currently helping rebuild 74 roads across the state. She said guard members have also helped repair the Columbia Canal and Columbia’s drinking water system and rescued people from flooded homes.
“We are on a roll. We don’t want things to slow down,” Haley told The Associated Press on Thursday. “This is a good thing.”
The state of emergency is in the 20 counties declared disaster areas by President Barack Obama.
The first state of emergency declaration that the governor signed was in the days leading up to the rainstorm from Oct. 2-5 which dumped up to 20 inches of rain in some parts of the state.
From staff reports, The Associated Press